Special Event: In Search of Imperial California – Richard’s 49th Birthday Bus Tour of Orange and Los Angeles Counties – Saturday, November 25 – 9:30am-5:30pm

Bus Tour Description

William Pereira with plans for both UC Irvine and the City of Irvine.

William Pereira with plans for both UC Irvine and the City of Irvine.

For Richard’s once-a-year birthday bus adventure, we invite you to join us for an all-day outing exploring the history, landscape and built environment of Orange and Los Angeles Counties. No need to pack a picnic lunch, as we will stop at an Indian food buffet, with the meal cost included in your ticket purchase.

This is a one-time only bus adventure that will never be repeated. Stops include a jazz age mausoleum (Melrose Abbey in Anaheim, tour led by cemetery historian Nathan Marsak), a mid-century master-planned city (William Pereira’s Irvine, with our native guide, architect and historian Alan Hess), a collection of restored and relocated early California landmarks (Heritage Hill Historical Park, Lake Forest) and two important Southern California medical and social service institutions (Metropolitan State Hospital, Norwalk and Rancho Los Amigos, Downey). To learn more about this all-day excursion, read on!

In Anaheim – Cemetery historian Nathan Marsak introduces us to MELROSE ABBEY (Richard Haley, 1929), a mausoleum designed in the California Mission-ized spirit of its namesake Gothic Scottish ruin, as memorialized by Sir Walter Scott. Here lies the luminous Carolyn Jones, ever known as Morticia Addams…

In Irvine – Join architect and historian Alan Hess to explore the endangered mid-century legacy of WILLIAM PEREIRA, city planner and architect, at the project that represents the high point of his career and of the state’s economic power, influence and glory: the transformation in the early 1960s of the old Irvine Ranch into a master-planned City and University. Our focus will be UC Irvine and the University Park neighborhood. At UCI, we’ll focus on the core buildings around Aldrich Park, all of which are classic Late Modern, integrated into a beltway with an enhanced sense of topography, design and environment. At University Park, planned by Pereira and designed by architects Richardson, Nagy and Martin, we’ll explore one of the first implementations of a superblock, with greenbelts focused on walkability and open space…

In Lake Forest (formerly El Toro) – Take a time travel trip through a 19th century eucalyptus forest leading to a collection of restored and relocated landmarks at HERITAGE HILL HISTORIC PARK. On site are four fully restored and furnished historic buildings illuminating the early history of the Saddleback Valley and El Toro area, from the Mexican Rancho era (Serrano Adobe, c. 1863) to the founding of the town of El Toro (El Toro Grammar School, 1890; St. George’s Episcopal Mission, 1891) through the citrus farming era (Harvey Bennett Ranch House, 1908). There is also a reconstruction of an Indian village, representing the life of the “People of the Land Before 1769”…

In Norwalk – Enjoy a rare on-site tour of the METROPOLITAN STATE HOSPITAL, including the 162-acre institution’s new history museum, which sensitively interprets a century of evolving mental health policy in Southern California through fascinating artifacts and vintage photographs…

In Downey – As the sun sets, we’ll visit the beautiful, decaying Southern Campus of RANCHO LOS AMIGOS. Originally known as The Los Angeles County Poor Farm, it was established in 1888 as a rehabilitation facility providing work, housing and medical care for the indigent. The period of greatest construction was the 1920s, with notable structures in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. The now vacant historic buildings are unfortunately popular with trespassing “urban explorers” and ghost hunters, which may explain several recent major fires. The old campus is slated for redevelopment, which is expected to include the preservation and adaptive reuse of some of the historic structures. Here’s your chance to get to know these beautiful structures in their original setting, before they are restored.

Please note that this is a Special Event, and vouchers and discounts good on our regularly scheduled bus adventures are not accepted for this tour.


Check in for this tour is 9am for a 9:30 am sharp departure. We will return around 5:30 pm. There are no paper tickets: your name will be on a list at the bus door. We will stop mid-day for an Indian buffet lunch (vegetarian options included), and you should bring anything (non-alcoholic) you’d like to drink during the day. We will supply sweets, coffee and water. Please dress appropriately with comfortable walking shoes and layers for our on and off bus adventures. This tour occurs rain or shine.

Please see below for parking information. We are recommending that all attendees park in the parking lot listed below because we are returning after dark. No other nearby pay lots will be open when the tour begins.

Parking / Breakfast suggestions

Paid lot parking is available directly across the street from the Daily Dose Cafe, at the Perfect Parking, Inc. lot at 1805 Industrial Street. Parking is market rate and can be $10 or more. Reserve in advance with Perfect Parking, Inc. at least 48 hours before arrival to secure $7 all day parking by contacting Sergio.

The Daily Dose is a great place for breakfast, but we recommend that you arrive about a half an hour before check in, so that neither you nor the cafe is rushed.

Need to reach us on tour day? Please phone Richard at 213-915-8687 after 8am.

No audio or video-taping without permission. We regret that there are no refunds for passengers who miss the bus.

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The Daily Dose Cafe
1820 Industrial Street
Los Angeles 90021
(213) 281-9300


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